Coronavirus: All-star cast to teach BBC lockdown lessons

Sir David Attenborough, Professor Brian Cox and Danny Dyer all lined up to teach British children missing school amid pandemic

FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020 file photo, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero smiles during the English Premier League soccer match between Sheffield United and Manchester City at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, England. Sergio Aguero has been using some of his spare time in lockdown to teach British kids how to speak Spanish. The Argentina international has been signed up by the BBC as part of its home-schooling initiative while educational establishments are closed during the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira, File)
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Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero will lead a star-studded selection of teachers producing lessons for British schoolchildren missing out on school due to the coronavirus lockdown, the BBC has announced.

The Argentine forward will teach Spanish as part of a programme of hundreds of lessons to be delivered by a new BBC service over the next two weeks.

BBC director general Tony Hall called the virtual learning drive "the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken".

Renowned naturalist and wildlife filmmaker Sir David Attenborough is due to take part, teaching children about the world’s oceans and animals, the BBC said.

Sir David Attenborough will teach British school children geography lessons. Courtesy Emirates Literature Foundation
Sir David Attenborough will teach British school children geography lessons. Courtesy Emirates Literature Foundation

Science lessons will be taught by Professor Brian Cox, former shadow finance minister Ed Balls is due to teach maths, and actor Danny Dyer, best known for playing tough men on screen, will take on the role of history teacher with a class on King Henry VIII. A 2016 television programme revealed the actor was a direct descendant of King Edward III.

Pop stars Liam Payne and Mabel also feature in a line-up of more than 200 teachers assembled by the broadcaster.

BBC Director Alice Webb, who oversees the broadcaster’s education service, said: "We’re proud that the BBC can bring together so many people to offer such a wide-ranging package of support to help children and parents right across the UK at such a challenging time.

With British schools closed indefinitely due to the pandemic, the end of the two-week Easter break means a return to education under lockdown.

"It’s vital that every child is able to continue learning - and the lessons we’re putting on will make sure they have fun at the same time," she added.